The new year is still at the starting blocks, but it has some thrilling events in store. JM Athlete Thorsten Christ is excited about his personal running highlights in 2023, but also looks back with gratitude on a successful past year. When he went to a starting line in 2022, he was usually found somewhere in the mountains. The Mountainman Grossarltal in Austria and the Allgäu Panorama Marathon in Germany were two events that stood out for him in particular.
After having already run the Mountainman race in Nesselwang two years ago, it was his first time in the Grossarl Valley, which is also known as “The Valley of Mountain Huts” due to its unusually high concentration of huts. Thorsten completed the 50 km / 31 mi long race with an elevation gain of 2,855 m / 9,367 ft in 09:10:19 h and finished in 11th place in his age group. Despite the great result he remains modest. “Unlike road marathons, where my full focus is on my running time, I want to enjoy mountain races and the beautiful panorama. Sometimes I just stop to take photos”, Thorsten told us. “It may sound crazy, but despite the physical exertion, mountain runs are also relaxing to me. It's a time when I can be completely by myself, and it’s an important balance to my job as a production manager at Johns Manville. I encourage everyone to find such a balance, which may look different for one another”.
For Thorsten, enjoying the race included tasting the event’s typical aid station food: Kaiserschmarrn. The traditional Austrian dessert is a scrambled and sugared pancake with raisins and applesauce and was served at the mountain huts. “Delicious, but
heavy on the stomach”, as Thorsten reported.
Allgäu Panorama Marathon
A premier for him was the participation in the Allgäu Panorama Marathon near the German-Austrian border. This race was actually not in his race calendar. “My original plan was to run the Zugspitzlauf on Germany's highest mountain. However, I did not feel prepared enough. So, instead I joined a friend at very short notice and registered for the Allgäu Panorama Marathon three days prior to the start”. But that didn't stop Thorsten from a great placement. After 05:23:05 h, 42 km / 26 mi and 1,500 m / 4,921 ft of elevation gain he crossed the finish line in 7th place in his age group.
3 TIPS FROM JM ATHLETE THORSTEN CHRIST
FOR A SUCCESSFUL MOUNTAIN RACE:
1. Hike the inclines and don’t pace them too fast.
2. Don’t underestimate the downhill sections as they are very strenuous.
3. Enjoy the panorama and soak in the beautiful landscapes.
After a successful running year, Thorsten has already announced his goals for 2023. “This year I will finally make up for the Zugspitzlauf. I have already registered for this event happening in June. And to be better prepared than last year, I will prior to this participate in the D-Day Landings Marathon in Normandy France, a race paying tribute through running to the events of D-Day”, he said.
However, his personal running highlight is already coming up in March, when he is racing the Barcelona Marathon. “This race has always been on my bucket list, and I’m really excited about it. And let’s see, maybe I’ll also sign up for the Lisbon Marathon in October. Another race I’ve always wanted to be part of.”
So, the new year, which is now just about to leave the starting blocks, promises to be an exciting one for Thorsten. We wish him successful and safe runs and can’t wait to hear from him again soon.
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